Mother’s Day with Aging Parents

mothers day aging

Mother’s day is set aside each year in order to celebrate all that encompasses being a mother to her child(ren). A celebration that, if your mother is able to, can be quite an exciting and fun filled day; however, not all mothers are able to participate in typical celebrations such as brunches at restaurants, picnics, a day of shopping and more.

When Mom Is Housebound
Many of us are lucky enough to have mothers who are aging well into their senior years. However, some may be housebound and unable to leave the home safely or without issue.

There are a number of wonderful ideas that can help you celebrate this Mother’s Day to thank your mom and show her she is loved. Even when a person may no longer always recall who they are with or be healthy enough to venture far from home, they understand and feel the presence of being loved and that is what Mother’s Day is about.

  • Picnic indoors – purchase a red checkered picnic tablecloth from the local “dollar” store, set out paper plates & put out something as easy as peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, fruit infused water & cookies for dessert.
  • Look through pictures – look through photo albums & loose pictures, talking about them as you go through them. You may even want to video the moment so that you have Mom talking about some of her favorite memories.
  • Dress up – help your mom get dressed up in one of her favorite “dressy” outfits so she feels special and beautiful. Make sure to take pictures and tell her often how beautiful she looks. (Go all out & put on jewelry, do her hair & even make up if she’s willing)
  • Bring a movie – you can enjoy a movie together in the comfort of her home. Even if you rent an older movie that you know she loves, it can bring real joy to someone that’s homebound to be able to share a movie with someone else & talk about it with them.
  • Bring the meal – bring a precooked meal from a local restaurant for everyone celebrating. It also gives her an opportunity to enjoy the feeling of dining out while enjoying the safety of being in her home.

Mother’s Day When Mom Has Dementia

  • Don’t push the need for celebration – if your mother is not feeling tolerant of celebration it’s not a big deal. Remember, many with dementia have no idea what day it is and don’t recognize your reasoning for wanting to celebrate.
  • Celebrate Mother’s Day anytime – you can celebrate on any day that she is being more receptive and cognizant in order to allow her to enjoy a day set aside for her.
  • Remember to allow for rest – your mother may no longer be able to “entertain” for hours and you should make sure you recognize her need to end the celebration and rest. Let her know that she can rest today and you’ll be back soon or even later in the day to be with her.
  • Make most days “Mother’s Day” – instead of focusing on one particular day to recognize how much your mother has made a difference in your life, learn to enjoy and celebrate her presence often.
  • Celebrate at the right time – often, those with dementia will have certain times of the day that they are at their best; be sure to visit her at that time of day. Remember, no day is guaranteed to be a good one and things simply may not go as planned.

It’s not physical gifts or the money you spend that makes for a happy and joyful day. Simply spending time with your mother to enjoy her smile and let her know she is loved is what is most important. Making it as easy as possible on an aging parent as you celebrate will help keep them rested and able to enjoy the moment.

May you have a wonderful and loving Mother’s Day with your mother.

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About Tim Colling

Tim Colling has more than 30 years of experience in management in a variety of industries and has served in the past as a member of the statewide steering committee for the Home Care Aide Section of the California Association for Health Services At Home (“CAHSAH”). He is a Certified Public Accountant (licensed but not actively in practice), and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from California State University at San Diego. He has held the credential Care Manager Certified ("CMC") from the National Academy of Certified Care Managers, and has practiced actively as a Professional Geriatric Care Manager. Tim has worked as a CPA in Public Accounting, a corporate Chief Financial Officer for a chemical manufacturing company, and a software engineering manager for several private and public software companies, in addition to working as an eldercare manager, in-home caregiver agency administrator and professional geriatric care manager since 2003. Learn more about his in-home caregiving company at A Servant's Heart In-Home Care

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